Learn about Effective Real Estate Marketing from the ActiveRain MeetUp at the Texas Realtors Conference in San Antonio, TX in September 2012.
On a September Sunday morning, we had a GREAT ActiveRain MeetUp at the Hyatt Regency San Antonio during the Texas Realtors Conference. We had a great group of active 'Rainers like Jerry Newman, Cathy Bureau, Brenda Mullen, and Sheila Moran. In addition, we had some newer members of ActiveRain - David Goldwasser, John King, Scott Jauregui, and Patrick Hamann. We had a GREAT time and discussed what is actually working for everyone.
Blogging, Blogging and More Blogging on ActiveRain: Jerry, Brendan, Cathy and Sheila espoused the value of blogging to drive their business. Brenda put it very well that, yes, blogging on ActiveRain can be work and you need to be consistent, BUT when you receive a lead or contact, that person is ready to work with you. Chances are that the consumer has been reading your blog for some time and they have already researched you online. Brenda had a hilarious story about getting a listing for a goat ranch that she is about to sell.
Sheila actually had a different take on blogging. Sheila is really focusing on B2B blogging, meaning she is spending more time blogging to speak to real estate agents and other local associations from whom she can get referrals. Sheila is also using blogging about industry best practices as a way to RECRUIT real estate agents who want to learn or like her style.
Lead Generation: John started off the conversation. John has increased his business 10x from 2011 to 2012 by advertising on Zillow, Trulia and RealEstate.com. Everyone was amazed by John's results and happy for him. We had a heated discussion on listing syndication where most felt it was not fair for Zillow and Trulia to sell leads off agent listings. At the same, no one had a strong rationale for keeping listings off of Zillow, Trulia or any other site. In the end, the group seemed to agree that more exposure is generally good for the home seller. Several others at the table had used Zillow or Trulia and canceled their subscriptions. The issues seemed to be centered around low lead quality, unrealistic buyer expectations, and the fact that most of the agents wanted to move their business from buyer focused to seller focused. Neither Zillow or Trulia have a good product on the sell side.
Text to Lead: Scott Jauregui said that he is having great results with a text-to-lead product from ePropertysites which is provided by his lender/mortgage broker. Scott is getting 4-5 leads a day from people walking by the house and then texting for more information. The home buyer receives a link to a mobile web site on the house. (Market Leader has a similar product Text to Lead product as well.) Scott gets a text message with the consumer's phone number which he can then forward on to a buyer's agent on his team.
Re-Targeting: Patrick Hamann is working with ReachLocal on a Re-Targeting program. Re-Targeting is a process where you can advertise to people that have already been on your web site. Basically, your web site "cookies" the consumer and then ReachLocal or another advertiser serves up your banner ad when that consumer is searching elsewhere on the Internet. Patrick is spending more than $250 per month on re-targeting and he says it is working.
Personal Cards / Mail: In her wisdom, Cathy reminded us all that real estate is a "belly to belly" business where in-person networking is critical to success. Cathy is using a service called SendOutCards.com to send birthday cards. Basically she can pre-pay an account and then give her assistant some limited authority to send out personalized birthday cards to her past clients and sphere. Less agents seem to be sending direct mail these days, so when you get a card in the mail, clients seem to appreciate it.
SmartZip: David Schneider of Goldwasser Real Estate in Austin recently started a campaign with SmartZip. SmartZip is a California company that has identified the homes in an area that are more likely to move. Based on what David says, the homes identified by SmartZip are 2x as likely to move than the other homes. Seems like SmartZip executes direct mail campaign on your behalf driving the consumer back to a web site where you can capture the customer's email address.
Great stuff! Great sharing. Blogging, lead generation, texting, direct mail oh my!
Do you have any feedback or experience with the above?